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World In Conflict
Short articles and commentary on recent events

Short Articles and Commentary

Passionate anti-Semitism

Ricin in the mail

Poodle leaves sinking ship

Army criticises Terror War strategy

Iraq's WMD:  Case Closed

Asymetric War in Iraq

Information Operations

Bad news for Bush

Stripping Plame of cover

Terrorists and Terrorism Experts

Polycentric Iraqi Nationalism

Bush flight suit mystery

Thinking about the Iraqi resistance

Public Baffled by Terror Alerts

Normal Failures

Bush in Free Fall

INC and Blowback

Google finds Weapons of Mass Destruction

More Polls

The Timothy McVeigh Finishing School

Reinforcing an opinion

Legitimacy

Borderlands

Orwellian Centenary

Cognitive Dissonance

Heaven and other things

Polls, Polls, Polls

Where are they now: Eugene Hasenfus

More Mass Delusions

WMD Trailers NOT

NRA rules in Iraq:  Gun confiscation flops

About that Anthrax...

Another Fine Mess

Chaos in Iraq

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Passionate anti-Semitism
It's not up to the level of the notorious anti-Semitic forgery of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion, reiterates themes of classic religious anti-Semitism.  Religious anti-Semitism is an uncomfortable subject.  Confronting it reinforces the value of freedom of expression and freedom of conscience.  It also casts light on the enslavement of bigots to their beliefs.  More...

Wednesday, February 4, 2004
Ricin in the mail
Three ricin incidents show problems with anti-terrorism policies and programs.  The initial surge of news reports contain very strange statements about terrorism.  Like sending powerful biotoxins through the mail and shutting down the Senate isn't terrorism.  And the curious case of the Secret Service intercepting an earlier ricin attack and not bothering to tell anyone.  And the mysterious silence from Homeland Security.  More...

Sunday, January 25, 2004
Poodle leaves sinking ship
Ahmad Chalabi, once the US' hand-picked successor to Saddam Hussein, has now joined Ayatollah Sistani in calling for Iraqi elections.  More...

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Army criticises Terror War strategy
A recent report from the Army War College poses some hard questions about the direction we're taking in the War on Terrorism.  More...

Monday, January 12, 2004
Iraq's WMD: Case Closed
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has published the definitive report on Iraq's WMD.  There wasn't any and our justification for invading was false.  Yet the Bush administration is sticking to their guns despite a stunning refutation of their claims.  More...

Tuesday, January 6, 2004
Asymmetric conflict in Iraq
Anthony Cordesman's report on the war in Iraq is one of the best overviews of the situation published to date.  In a nutshell, the occupation forces and the resistance are in a stalemate neither can win.  More...

Friday, October 17, 2003
Information operations
Sam Gardiner makes a strong case for a systematic effort to distort information about the war in Iraq and manipulate public opinion in the U.S.  Long story short, he says we're the targets of psychological warfare waged by our own government.  More...

Saturday, October 4, 2003
Bad news for Bush
The last week has been a steady cascade of bad news for the Bush administration.  Here's what made the last week in September the worst for Bush since he "hit the trifecta" on 9/11.  In a nutshell, Bush's political capital is gone.  More...

Thursday, October 2, 2003
Stripping Plame of cover
The FBI is going to have a hard time not solving a case where there are eight material witnesses.  But I think they'll manage to blow it anyway.  Why ruin a perfect streak?  More...

Saturday, August 23, 2003
Terrorists and Terrorism Experts
What's behind current U.S. doctrine on terrorism?  What makes someone an expert on terrorism?  Who are some of the terrorism experts?  And where is this all leading?  More...

Friday, August 22, 2003
Polycentric Iraqi Nationalism
The Iraqi resistance is a hydra.  There is no centralizing ideology other than a fierce and fragmented nationalism.  What we are seeing is a long-building pressure towards civil war.  The resistance has many centers, not one.  And it's going to get worse as factions continue to mobilize resources and build organization.    More...

Monday, August 18, 2003
Bush flight suit mystery
The Google search engines are showing signs of tampering.  What's the deal?  Is this the Fair and Balanced (tm) doorway to the web?  More...

Monday, August 11, 2003
Thinking about the Iraqi resistance
That dark cloud on the horizon is chickens coming home to roost.  The Iraqi resistance is pursuing a very strong strategy of systematic opposition and are now looking stronger than ever.  The odd news is that this should not be news at all.  All the signs have been there to read, plain as daylight for quite a while.   More...

Saturday, August 9, 2003
Public baffled by terror alerts
The Homeland Security Agency's color-coded terrorism alert system is producing a muddle of confusion, according to a yet-unreleased report by the Congressional Research Service.  More...

Sunday, July 27, 2003
Normal Failures
The Congressional report on the 9/11 attacks spells out very clearly the systematic flaws in our national strategy for combating terrorism.    More...

Friday, July 25, 2003
Bush in Free Fall
The war in Iraq has proved to be only a temporary and rapidly evaporating help to Bush's political fortunes.  The equation of support for war equals support for Bush has already vanished and his standing in the polls is now roughly the same as it was before 9/11.  From here on out, Iraq is more likely to generate bad new for Bush than provide support for his presidency.  All the same, Bush's political opponents will not benefit from passively waiting for things to get worse.  More...

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
INC and blowback
The intelligence fiasco leading to the Iraq war has all the earmarks of "blowback" -- the use of the Iraqi National Congress to manipulate national policy and public opinion.  The bad intelligence on Iraq is not limited to some crude forgeries regarding uranium from Niger.  The misinformation is the result of a decade-long relationship between domestic political factions, Iraqi exiles and the covert warfare establishment.  More...

Friday, July 4, 2003
Google finds Weapons of Mass Destruction
Google search engine has found the Weapons of Mass Destruction!  More...

Tuesday, July 1, 2003
More Polls
Polls are back in the news (will they ever go away?)  First of all, Gallup shows a mild trend in the nation's grasp on reality.  PIPA shows how tenuous that grasp is.  And BeeKay sends us a lovely link to a poll analysis site.  More...

Sunday, June 29, 2003
The Timothy McVeigh Finishing School
Is the war in Iraq training a new generation of domestic terrorists?  More...

Sunday, June 29, 2003
Reinforcing an opinion

Organizations don't think like people.  They think like committees.  Policy and doctrine are produced by a process of negotiation and consensus.  As a result, it is fully possible to produce policy that nobody agrees with.  And this may be the best explanation of the "intelligence failures" over Iraq.

In other words, the Bush administration didn't lie about the WMD, the sabotage, the idiocy of a plan to decapitate the Iraqi government and then transplant the head of a poodle like Chalabi -- they were (and are) organizationally incapable of understanding the truth.  It's a big difference.

  More...

Saturday, June 28, 2003
Legitimacy
Wars start out as political, but end up as military affairs.  The Clauswitzian definition of war as the continuation of politics with the admixture other means is misleading.  Military force does not confer legitimacy -- though it sometimes suffices to make the losers shut up.  The problem is when the "losers" haven't really lost and refuse to concede legitimacy to "victors."  History has not been kind to the agressors in these conflicts.  More...

Thursday, June 26, 2003
Borderlands

The simplicity of the military mission in Iraq (kill people and blow stuff up) and the complexity of the political situation (trying to establish the legitimacy of our presence there) are working at cross purposes. 

The border incident with Syria is a clear indication that policy-making is slipping out of the hands of the civilians as military considerations begin to drive events.

  More...

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Orwellian Centenary
It's George Orwell's 100th birthday.  More...

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Cognitive Dissonance
The term "cognitive dissonance" is popping up more frequently in reporting about the war in Iraq.  In a perfect example of newspeak, the contextual meaning is usually the exact opposite of what the phrase means.  More...

Thursday, June 19, 2003
Heaven and other things
Some random musings about what we might be shuffling off this mortal coil to, grandmothers and the measure of victory in Iraq.  More...

Thursday, June 19, 2003
Polls, Polls, Polls
Two new Gallup polls show only 3% of the U.S. population has a grip on the facts of the Iraqi WMD and Bush's "war boost" is over.  The BBC polls the world and finds Homer Simpson is the #1 American (beating out George Washington by a long shot) and finally, Afghanistan is the world's #1 opium producer.  More...

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Where are they now: Eugene Hasenfus
The other day Agent Borussky and I were reminiscing about the merry crew of the Iran/Contra enterprise.  Where are they now?  A search on the web for Eugene Hasenfus finds an incident from July 2000 at the Smoking Gun  More...

Tuesday, June 17, 2003
More Mass Delusions
Reality is still being held at bay.  A recent poll shows a sizable plurality of Americans have no idea what the facts are about Iraq's non-existant WMD.  And worse yet, nearly a quarter think Saddam used WMD in the start of the war!  More...

Sunday, June 15, 2003
Trailers not WMD say Brits
Official British investigation determines the nortorious "WMD" trailers NOT!  More

Sunday, June 15, 2003
NRA rules in Iraq
The attempts at disarming Iraqis has totally flopped.  Not surprising when a policy on gun confiscation has to play by National Rifle Association rules.  More

Monday, June 9, 2003
About that Anthrax
Between Bush and the press, most Americans believed that Iraq had something to do with the anthrax attacks.  Actually, it was the other way around -- the anthrax had a lot to do with deciding to attack Iraq.  More

Monday, June 9, 2003
Another Fine Mess

Bush and the neocons didn't lie about Irag.  They constructed a fantasy world in which all their dreams would come true -- and defended it with the savage fury of the truely mad.  Now that reality is battering against their delusions, cognitive dissonance is taking hold and the delusions are clutched more tightly than ever.

It would be better if they were cynical liars playing spin games.  The truth is much worse -- they are delusional and losing touch with reality.

  More..

Sunday, June 8, 2003
Chaos in Iraq

Delusions vs. lies.   Who tells a lie when you know you will eventually be caught?  You'd have to be delusional to think this wouldn't eventually catch up with you.

Politically, though, it is cleaner to say that they are lying--clear case of wrongdoing,   Easier than saying that they are delusional madmen.  Put that in an article of impeachment.

The picture I am getting is that Bush really did believe.  He was in effect fed a propaganda line by aides who were using the intel selectively.  And despite John Dean's belief to the contrary, there is something really wrong with Bush nat'l security.  He is not smart enough to know what's going on and to impose the kind of discipline that you need to stay out of this kind of trouble.   

  More